A rolling stone gathers no moss, and this week a loose-tongued General got steamrolled by a paper one. President Obama did the right thing in canning McChrystal. But his appointment of David Petraeus bodes very badly for the July 2011 withdrawal start date. Last week, Petraeus hinted as much, telling Congress he would recommend delaying the withdrawal if conditions in Afghanistan didn't improve (and is there anyone left who thinks they will?). Petraeus Ex Machina got the president's backing: "We didn't say we'd be switching off the lights and closing the door behind us," the commander-in-chief told the nation. Something tells me that Obama - McChrystal + Petraeus = upping the ante in Afghanistan. We need to change the equation.
Michael Hastings has done us a great service. Thanks to his reporting in Rolling Stone, the architect of a failed, vicious war policy is out the door, and Americans are paying attention.
Obama did the right thing this week in firing McChrystal. Unfortunately, the other decisions the President faces regarding Afghanistan are not as easy. It is difficult to get out of Afghanistan today, but it will be more difficult to get out tomorrow.
Of the many questions surrounding the sudden career implosion of General Stanley McChrystal, the one to which no one has yet been able to offer a satisfactory answer is, Why?
We're going to begin today with the news that a popular New Jersey beach is considering allowing women to sunbathe topless. And then move right on to...
General McChrystal was ultimately done in by his lack of discretion, but the war effort in Afghanistan will eventually be a failure because of the over-reliance and misapplication of COIN.
The Rolling Stone correspondent was stuck in Paris. Embedded there, he hung around with talkative drinkers. They revealed stuff while forgetting it was being told to a reporter.
Can war survive the combination of daily behind-the-scenes exposures of the human flaws of decision makers, along with intimate portrayals of the travails of war?
McChrystal had a choice: Go down with the ship, being remembered forever as the General who "lost" Afghanistan; or be fired, with plenty of time to rewrite the narrative of why he really left.
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The administration hopes to dodge questions about the war supplemental urgently being asked by Democratic leaders in the House by claiming that more funds are an exigent, "emergency" need. They're not.
Much has been written about President Obama's decisive firing of General McChrystal from his command in Afghanistan. Yet it should have come to no one's surprise given an event now near forgotten over a year ago.
Journalism is an act of seduction. Many times I've done the seducing, in writing big stories and small; I've also been the seduced, slammed with the gut-wrenching morning-after upon reading stories written about me.
There is no magic answer to Afghanistan. A good place to start would be to tell our leaders that projecting American power does not serve us, no matter how much oil, gas or minerals there may be.
To heck with the war. It's becoming a story about egos. Or more precisely, as one commentator put it recently, "By focusing on McChrystal's supposed ...